Rhian Brewster is a doubt while Herbie Kane is set to make his full debut for Liverpool when they face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Liverpool will be aiming to reach the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup when they lock horns with Aston Villa at Villa Park in a quarter-final encounter on Tuesday night. The Reds’ under-23 boss Neil Critchley will take charge of the team, with Jurgen Klopp in Qatar with the first-team regulars for the Club World Cup.
The situation that the Reds find themselves in entails Critchley to field a weakened side, comprising largely of under-23 players, on Tuesday. Liverpool’s stand-in manager spoke of the opportunity that he and the players are getting, during his pre-match press conference.
“It’s a great opportunity for all of us, myself included. I’ll be very proud to lead the team out tomorrow night but the pride I will have will come from the players playing to what they’re capable of.”
“When you work with the players every day and you work with them for a number of years, when I stand on the touchline tomorrow night I’ll be immensely proud of the players who are taking to that pitch and I hope they go and play how I know they are capable of playing.”
Caoimhin Kelleher has started each of Liverpool’s two Carabao Cup games so far. The Irishman is the designated goalkeeper for the competition and should start between the sticks once again. In front of him, the defensive line will likely have three teenagers starting.
Ki-Jana Hoever was unavailable for the enthralling fourth round contest with Arsenal due to his participation in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup with Netherlands. Available now, Hoever will start as Liverpool’s right-back against Aston Villa, with Tony Gallacher likely to start on the left flank.
Summer signing Sepp van den Berg is a certain starter as well, with Morgan Boyes likely to be his partner at the heart of the Liverpool defence. Up ahead in midfield, Pedro Chirivella, who has seven caps for the Reds, will oddly be the senior figure.
Chirivella will likely be deployed at the base of the three-man midfield, with Herbie Kane and Isaac Christie-Davies expected to provide him company in the middle of the park. Kane will be making his full debut for Liverpool while Christie-Davies will be turning out for the Reds for the very first time against Aston Villa.
Another debutant will be Luis Longstaff, who ought to man the left side of the three-pronged attack. The concern in the final third will be surrounding the fitness of Rhian Brewster, who has been recovering from an ankle injury. Critchley provided an update on Brewster in his presser.
“He’s got a knock so he’s doubtful. We’re assessing him today, fingers crossed he makes it. We’ll see,” Critchley said. If passed fit, Brewster will lead the line for Liverpool against Aston Villa, with Harvey Elliott making up the numbers in the final third.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Hoever, van den Berg, Boyes, Gallacher; Christie-Davies, Chirivella, Kane; Elliott, Brewster, Longstaff